Thursday, 25 December 2014

Yusupov: It's a Question of Probability

by Junta

A couple of excerpts from a recent interview (originally in Russian for ChessPro) with former world #3 player, Artur Yusupov, which left an impression on me:

Why sport and fitness are important

Every element is important – the pure chess element as well, of course, but not only. It’s a case of increasing the probability of a good performance, which is something many people fail to understand. They think, “Ah! Today I didn’t play any sport but I still won, so I don’t need it”. Or the opposite. “I played sport but lost the game”. And people don’t realise that it’s a question of probability. You can do everything correctly and increase the probability of winning by some percentage, but it’s never going to be 100%. Surprises can’t be ruled out. You can, of course, do everything correctly and lose, or everything wrongly and win, but the person who does everything correctly will win more often. You can’t argue with the statistics, and that’s the big difference. Those who fail to follow a sporting regime can be very talented and win individual events, but over a long period of time they’ll do worse than the professionals, and that’s the whole point. When I went on all my runs before important tournaments I thought: “I’ll suffer now, but in the tournament I’ll pick up an extra half point!

On how wins aren't always the result of our brilliant play

A win is always the “achievement” of our opponents. I understood that very well when analysing my old games. I’d naively thought that I outplayed my opponents, but a closer analysis with the help of the computer showed: nothing of the sort! Basically my opponents had even understood the position better than I did and they played well (laughs), but at some decisive moment, perhaps, they lacked energy. They committed a bad mistake which altered the logical course of the game. Analysis showed a totally different picture. So you always win due to the mistakes of the guy sitting opposite. It’s simply not possible otherwise.

Anti-Hassberg and Ellerman Blend Themes

by Junta

Pinning and unpinning...lots of pinning and unpinning in two themes from the Encyclopedia of Chess Problems (Chess Informant), a merry book for chess problem lovers which I came across in the chess collection of the State Library of Victoria.

520 pages with 1726 problems!

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Australasian Masters 2014

Junta and Moulthun are currently playing in the inaugural GM norm section.

Some details taken from Bulletin #1 by Kerry Stead:


GM Event

GM Murtas Kazhgaleyev 2576 Kazakhstan
GM Vasily Papin 2502 Russia
IM Max Illingworth 2493 Australia
GM Rustam Khusnutdinov 2472 Kazakhstan
IM Moulthun Ly 2463 Australia
IM Bobby Cheng 2435 Australia
IM Anton Smirnov 2420 Australia
IM Junta Ikeda 2418 Australia
FM Luke (Zuhao) Li 2342 New Zealand
Karl Zelesco 2256 Australia

GM Norm Requirements
IM Max Illingworth – 7 points
IM Moulthun Ly, IM Bobby Cheng, IM Anton Smirnov, IM Junta Ikeda, FM Luke Li & Karl
Zelesco – 6.5 points
IM Norm Requirements
FM Luke Li – 5 points
Karl Zelesco – 4.5 points

IM Event

IM Kanan Izzat 2402 Azerbaijan
IM Igor Bjelobrk 2355 Australia
FM Greg Canfell 2349 Australia
Eugene Schon 2287 Australia
FM Robert Smith 2245 New Zealand Top seed GM Kazhgaleyev
FM William Jordan 2233 Australia
Yi Liu 2233 Australia
IM Mirko Rujevic 2211 Australia
Carl Gorka 2089 England
Mehmedalija Dizdarevic 1923 Bosnia & Herzegovina

IM Norm Requirements
All non-IMs - 7 points

Live games can be watched at
Round 2 (Dec 14): 5:30pm AEST
Rounds 3-8 (Dec 15-20): 4pm AEST
Round 9 (Dec 21): 2pm AEST

Bulletins, games (.pgn download) and final crosstables available here.